Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review: Why Should I Fast?

Why Should I Fast? by Daniel Hyde is part of the 12-booklet Cultivating Biblical Godliness series published by Reformation Heritage Books.  This short booklet, at just 46 pages, looks at the biblical teaching and practice of fasting.

In his book, Mr. Hyde "argues that fasting is actually a basic biblical teaching and practice, one that is vital to cultivating godly living in an ungodly generation," (p. 5).  He looks at fasting in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The author notes: "When you feel the weight of your sins, you are instructed to fast as a help to confessing your sins to the Lord in prayer.  When you lack the Lord's presence, you are exhorted to fast as a help to drawing near to God through prayer," (p. 21).

Next, he looks at how a Christian should fast and gives these guidelines:  Fasting should be done freely, humbly, seriously, evangelically, earnestly, and prayerfully.  However, Mr. Hyde notes that fasting is not the end in itself, but a means.  Therefore, he concludes: "Fasting is an aid and help to prayer," (p. 40).

This short primer on fasting is very well-written and well-referenced.  The author even includes a selected bibliography to his work.  I was encouraged by his exhortation to revive the practice of fasting as a means to aid my prayer life.  I highly recommend Why Should I Fast? for all Christians, especially those in leadership positions so that they can encourage others within the church to consider this important biblical practice.

"And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast," (Matthew 9:15).